One of the things we’ve been doing in Swedish class as an exercise each week is listen to a Swedish pop song with translated lyrics. We’ve done songs by the likes of Peter Joback, Ted Gardestad and for something quite contemporary, Kent.
For a while I’ve been suggesting to Grant we should do a familiar English language song with translated lyrics. And so this week Grant brought along Frida (from ABBA) doing a Swedish language version of “Send In The Clowns”, a song written by Stephen Sondheim from the 1973 musical “A Little Night Music”. Well, that was my cultural reference for the song. The younger bloke sitting next to me also recognised the song. “Hey, it’s that song from The Krusty Comeback Special”, he laughed, referring to a famous episode of “The Simpsons”. I also laughed in recognition, as I knew exactly what he was talking about, and am still giggling about it now an hour later. All the way through the deep and moving song both he and I were quietly giggling to ourselves about the different cultural references we had to the song. “There’s not a day goes by when I don’t make some reference to The Simpsons”, I told him. I never, thought, however, such a reference would come up in Swedish Class.
But it’s a modern world in which we live, and also tonight we translated an article from Aftonbaldet, the Swedish newspaper, about Facebook. And one of our pieces of homework for next week is to write about our online lives, which I’m doing now in English, but will do next week on this blog in Swedish. It’s all a bit post-modern in a way, isn’t it?
Today’s other highlight: making Matthew Newton a coffee with soy milk.